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Evans Makes NHL Debut For Montreal

MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens announced the recall of former Notre Dame captain Jake Evans on Thursday and the forward made his National Hockey League debut on Thursday night versus the Anaheim Ducks (Feb. 6). 

Evans is in the midst of his second professional season with the Laval Rocket (AHL) after skating with the Irish from 2014-18. He signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Canadiens on April 9, 2018 after originally being a Montreal draft pick in 2014 (seventh round, 207th overall).

The 2018 Senior CLASS Award winner, Evans helped lead the Irish to the 2018 NCAA Championship game. His postseason efforts included a dramatic game-winning goal against Michigan in the semifinals, scored at 19:54.8 of the third period (April 5). He finished that comeback win with two goals and an assist.  

Evans becomes the third former Notre Dame player to make his NHL debut this season, joining former teammates Andrew Peeke (Dec. 5) and Jordan Gross (Dec. 22).

Already a program-record number of former Notre Dame players have played in the NHL this season as Evans becomes the 15th, joining: Anders Bjork (Boston Bruins), Ian Cole (Colorado Avalanche), Thomas Di Pauli (Pittsburgh Penguins), Steven Fogarty (New York Rangers), Dennis Gilbert (Chicago Blackhawks), Vinnie Hinostroza (Arizona Coyotes), Stephen Johns (Dallas Stars), Anders Lee (New York Islanders), Jordan Gross (Arizona Coyotes), Kyle Palmieri (New Jersey Devils), Andrew Peeke (Columbus Blue Jackets), Bryan Rust (Pittsburgh Penguins), Riley Sheahan (Edmonton Oilers) and T.J. Tynan (Colorado Avalanche). 

Additionally, goaltender Cal Petersen (Los Angeles), who made his NHL debut last season, and Robbie Russo (Arizona), who made his NHL debut during the 2016-17 season, were also recalled on Thursday.

Evans becomes head coach Jeff Jackson’s 23rd former Notre Dame player to play an NHL game and the program’s 37th overall.  

Evans has scored 12 goals and added 22 assists for 34 points in 38 games with Laval (AHL) this season. In two seasons of AHL play, he has 59 points (25-34-59) in 115 games.

Evans finished his Irish career with 41 goals and 97 assists for 138 points in 158 games played. His 138 points rank 21st in program history, while his 97 assists rank tied for 13th. Since the beginning of his sophomore season, he racked up 121 points (34-87-121) in 117 games played. He closed out his Irish career by playing in 131 consecutive games and only missed one game in four seasons.

As a senior, Evans notched 13 goals and added career-high totals in assists (33) and points (46). His 33 assists led Notre Dame and ranked fifth in the country, while his team-high 46 points total ranked tied for 13th in the NCAA. He also had five game-winning goals and was second in the NCAA with 550 face-off wins.

In addition to being named a First Team All-Big Ten selection, Evans was named the 2018 Senior CLASS Award winner for men’s ice hockey. The Senior CLASS Award is given annually to a senior student-athlete who excels both on and off the ice, is classified as an NCAA Division I senior and has notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

In addition to Notre Dame’s NCAA East Regional Championship, which propelled the Irish to a second consecutive Frozen Four, Evans helped lead the Irish to Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in Notre Dame’s first season in the league.

Evans graduated from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business as a management consulting major.